CREATED Feb. 8, 2013
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - There's a teacher at Patriot Elementary in Cape Coral who's left a mark on special needs students and their parents.
"Until we received Ms. Landau, we've not seen any progress," said mom Heather Woody. "We felt like we were dropping our kids off at daycare not at school."
Her name is Stacey Landau. And since she started in October, Woody says she's changed her daughter's life. Ten-year-old Haley has Down Syndrome making it difficult for her to communicate.
"What difference did Ms. Landau make?" asked Fox 4 reporter Gabrielle Sarann. "In four months, my daughter's learned 32 sight words. The educational gains my daughter's made is outstanding."
But last Wednesday, Ms. Landau suddenly left.
"We want her back," said Woody. "We want to know where she's at and no one's told us anything."
Woody said she tried contacting the school district but no one responded.
"I've emailed the ESE director, I've emailed the superintendent, trying to get answers," explained Woody.
So, Fox 4 stepped in to help Woody get answers.
But after Fox 4 reached out to the school, Woody says the principal suddenly called her.
"This is the first time I've heard from the principal," added Woody.
With encouraging news. "He told me everything was good to go that the teacher would be back on Monday," said Woody.
But although he offered little explanation by not saying why Ms. Landau left, Woody says they're welcome words knowing her daughter's classroom will be complete again.
"His words were, 'We will be whole again on Monday'," said Woody. "Wow do you feel?" asked Sarann. "I'm hopeful."
In an e-mail, a district spokesperson said the following, "The teacher in question is returning to the classroom on Monday. The district will have no further comment regarding this matter."